Ichabod: Where did the Glory go?

The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.    -C. S. Lewis

conceptual sign post with, danger slippery slope

As many permit themselves comfort from the woes of this world, there exists a jagged edge that they drift dangerously close to, careless to the reality of the fall that awaits them.  As gloomy as this sounds, I must persist in casting some reality toward you in the hopes of jarring your slumber!

In ancient biblical times, wars existed between the factions of believers in God and believers of everything else. Though the spiritual realm has its casualties, there was also an effect to the physical as well.  Death tolls in these wars, per the accounts of history and Bible, were in the 10’s of thousands! The followers of God, the Israelites, had won a fair share of battles, but also suffered great defeats as well.  In most cases, the stories relayed the importance of God and his following his commandments.

In one particular situation, Israel was facing one of their great foes, the Philistines. In 1 Samuel chapter 4, the Israelites had taken a beating and decided to bring up the Ark of the Covenant to the battle front. This represented God’s presence more than anything.  The wild cheers of elation rallied the troops and even the Philistines feared God showing up.  But…to no avail.  Israel got their butt kicked and the enemy ran off with the Ark.

The high priest and judge of Israel, Eli, lost two of his sons in the battle. That information, along with the Ark being taken, literally killed the poor guy.  His daughter-in-law was so despondent about the losses that she gave birth and died.  The midwife names the boy Ichabod, meaning ‘the glory of the Lord has departed’.  Great start to life! (Sarcasm intended!)

It seems historically that when a people decide on their own volition of self first, it isn’t too long afterward that their demise hits. The United States of America was essentially founded on a basis of the Bible as the core moral and spiritual compass. The founding fathers forged our first governing documents on the whole of scripture, keeping that, with God, all things are possible. But, as with any great nation, corruption seeps in…slowly, assuredly, and with a purpose of demise. Even the learned institutions, such as Harvard and Yale, started out as seminary schools teaching the Bible! Yet, now, you would be fortunate to find scripture anywhere within the walls of the university. We are on the safest road to hell!

So, how did this happen?  How did we get to this drowning point? The primary place to point out the failing is our own ‘churches’.  Now, I am not going to get all denominational or call out particular names.  That is not the intent of this.  But, I will shake a fist to any and all who claim Christianity as their faith, yet deny the Bible as the word of God.  Without the Bible, we do not have the compass of direction. Without the Bible, we do not have instructions. Without the Bible, we do not have a reference point to keep ourselves on the correct path!

All that said, when we cast aside His Words to us, we begin to wander aimlessly.  We become “I Chabod”….without the Glory. When we are travelling and feel uncertain about our direction, we consult a map. Now days, we are constantly looking to our smart phones for information and direction. Well, the Bible is our map. The Bible is our smart phone that has all the answers we need.  And without it…well, we rely on our own understanding. Our own views. Our own mess!

The father of lies, the great deceiver, has crept into the fabric of God-fearing churches and cast doubts, dissensions, and destruction from within.  And since pushing aside the Bible as the beacon of truth, these churches have turned into social clubs and feel-good parties…with no truth being taught! Whitewashed Tombs! Pretty on the outside, empty and dead on the inside!

Mark 7:9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!”

The churches today (not all) have essentially rejected the Bible as the Word and have, instead, decided that soft, gentle talks regarding social issues are more important than knowing God and His Word!  And with the disregard of God’s Word as authoritative and commanding, man has put himself in God’s place and now determines what is and what isn’t sin! What was once revered as Gospel has since become edited so as not to offend anyone! Sins are acceptable and they just avoid talking about His Words and commands!

The Glory has departed! And with His departing, so has His hand which has held back the enemies of God’s people!

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One of the greatest preachers of all time, Jonathan Edwards, in 1741 preached a sermon that shook the very core of believers and unbelievers alike. That sermon, titled “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God” was filled with fire and brimstone that convicted people to remedy, or assure, that their relationship with God was of utmost importance!  We have fallen so far from that reverence, passion, and belief in the God of the Bible, creator of all things, through his Son, by which we have forgiveness and restored fellowship.

There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.  – Edwards

So, I ask: Why?  Why has the Word of God been rejected by the very people who claim to believe in God? Why have we allowed His Glory to depart from us? Are we so delusional as to think that God would never cast anyone into hell? Because, if we are sitting at such a comfort level, in disbelief of God’s wrath, as to think that…I really suggest you reconsider what His Words really do say!  There is no free rides to Heaven! The Bible is very clear on that! His own people, the Israelites, were destroyed in a battle because of their own complacency and denial of His Supremacy!  YOU are no different. The church is no different.

God has never promised to save us from Hell, except for those contained in Christ through the covenant of Grace.  – Edwards

The churches have rejected God’s Word.  The Glory has departed.  Man stands alone on a wayward path leading toward destruction of soul:  hell.

I guess I challenge anyone to look at their ‘churches’ and ask the question:  Do they fully accept God’s words as complete revelation from God, or are they picking and choosing what they want to keep and what they don’t?  It literally is an “all or nothing” situation.  You either believe in the Bible or you don’t. And, as Edwards based his sermon from in scripture, ‘their foot shall slip in due time’ (Deut 32:35), there isn’t a middle ground with God.  You (and the church) are either hot or cold. Lukewarm is the path that leads to destruction.

 

 

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Who am I today…?

Label-Maker

Label:  A word or phrase that describes someone or something.

One of the many definitions of the word ‘Label’.  A word that is cast about in our society today with a variety of intent. People like labels, people hate labels, people feel the need to label, people want labels removed.  This word has become the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” trigger.

Any given day, at any given time, you can hear and see labels being tossed around with such complacency…yet as quickly as used, are being cause to charged emotional reactions.

There are simple labels cast upon people, individuals, such as ‘black’ or ‘white’ to denote skin color. The popular labels used to designate affiliations such as ‘democrat’ or ‘republican’.  The newer generational labels to describe, such as ‘gay’ or ‘straight’.  All these types are scrutinized to see if they are using the label as a means of identification to good or if it is a tool to castigate someone ‘different’.

The funny part about labels is how they show the hypocrisy of people.  Humanity is so quick to charge themselves as this or thus, but when labeled by others, they anger at the thought of being pigeon-holed!  Really?  I’m confused!  You want to be labeled, but get upset when you are?  Huh?

So, that being said, our world has taken things to such an extreme of stupidity now regarding labels. People want to be labeled as non-labeled.  The “I identify as…” generation has promoted the label of ‘ambiguous’.

am·big·u·ous
amˈbiɡyo͞oəs/
adjective: ambiguous
  1.  open to more than one interpretation; having a double meaning.
    • unclear or inexact because a choice between alternatives has not been made.

Ok. I get that you don’t want to be labeled with a political affiliation or a particular religion or even an ethnic background. It doesn’t change who you are! With or without a label, you are who you are inside and out and people are going to identify you one way or another.

I’m gonna draw the line at a point though. Gender.

So, you are trying to push on me that you are neither male or female? This is where my Common-Sense-Meter is jumping off the scales! I don’t care how flaky and extreme you are, but, the facts are facts. You have a penis, you are a male. You have a vagina, you are a female. You can lop it off or add one on all you want, but the fact of the matter still remains: You ARE what you were born with!

I use this Bradley Manning person that is in the news as an example.  Aside from him (yes, I am using the proper pronoun to describe this human) being a traitor to the country; aside from our government allowing him to be associated with our army; aside from him whining and demanding that he wants to play dress up in girls clothes…aside from all that, he is still MALE.

You pee standing up, you use the men’s room. Putting on a dress doesn’t make you any more a woman than putting lipstick on a pig changes the animal. The label doesn’t change who or what you are!

“But, I was born with the wrong parts.”  “I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body.” “I identify as a….”

Sorry.  Not gonna buy into that game. You want to play dress up and act a certain way because you have ‘feelings’ for the same-sex, go right ahead.  But, don’t you drag me into accepting this. Not my circus, not my monkeys!  I don’t have to accept you playing gender games anymore than you have to accept me as a good writer.  We all play pretend from time to time, but I will not be forced into accepting every and any label people want to attach to themselves!

Today, I am this…tomorrow, I think I’ll be that!

they-said-i-could-be-anything-so-i-became-a-penguin

The issue here, folks, is not that you have to believe the same way as everyone else, the issue comes down to how your beliefs or claims or labels are pushed on others.  I believe in the Bible as the inerrant word of God…but that doesn’t mean you better make concessions for me in all ways because of this!  Think about the common sense level we are talking about here! There has to be a point where the spiral is stopped! Everything is getting pushed so far to the extremes that the free-for-all of lunacy is a blurred and borderless line!  Where does it stop?

I’m going to leave that to moral judgement.  I have my line…and it is a pretty fair line at that. Considering all of the labels that people love/hate out there, I figure that common sense and a moral base need to be used to filter reality from the label-land of make-believe!

1 Cor 13:11 says “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

Good advice.

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Missing: Common Sense

Xtesb1rIt has been such a long time. So many things have happened that alter one’s thinking patterns toward new paths. This, in, and of itself, is a good thing. Continually traipsing wayward down roads leading to unfulfilled chaos is no way to live life!  Remember, many moons ago, that I started this blog to root out the evil that worms its way into society, destroying the one semblance of necessity that we, as a people, need to survive:  Common Sense!

What has happened between then and now is no small matter! It appears that the world has continued the downward spiral it was on…not slowing one iota! Hmmmmm…..what to do, what to do!

Fortunately, our moribund society is salvageable! Not because we have a new President. Not because morals have made a resurgence. And, not because a news/commentary talking head has said so!  We are salvageable because we have believers!  There are many of us still walking forward believing that we can do better! There are many sides to every issue, good and bad, that attempts to sway our grasp of solution. Unfortunately, the bad can often outweigh the good and implement a course that creates a bigger monster than before.

Take the example of my favorite monster of all…Godzilla! Now, before you start casting judgments my way, keep in mind that as a child of the…ummm…..era a while ago, Godzilla movies were fun, campy Japanese creations that pitted a man-made catastrophe against the society we cherished. That humanity was above all, including nature…even God, Himself, and could tamper with our life-existence was pointed out to be our arrogancy!  So, I guess what I am saying is that, even though we still continue to exist as a society of arrogant, selfish, and indulgent fools, the monsters we create will not just go away because we say so!

Not everyone walks on the side of the monsters, though! We can still grasp at the true solution to many of societies problems. By embracing Common Sense, we have the weapons and shields needed to crush the monsters of stupidity!

One example of this, not to get too political, is Minnesota’s Governor and the “criteria” to conform to federal mandates of a “real ID”.  I’m not completely sure what the whole fuss is about the real ID thing in respects to what I carry in my wallet: a valid Minnesota Driver’s License. The state issued that to me after showing that I can pass a written test and drive a car around a test track. It also acts to identify me to various agencies and such because it has my picture. Well, the argument continues with our state geniuses about passing this “real ID” thing so that we would then be able to fly using the special “real ID”.  One hold up here in the great state of Minnesota is that our Governor thinks that people who are illegally in the country should be able to get a driver’s license as well.

I’ll let that soak in for a minute. Let the Common Sense flow within you. Look at the situation through the Common Sense Lenses!

Why, on God’s green earth, would you give someone who is in the country illegally a valid state identification? Well, according to our state ‘leader’, it will make them safer drivers and reduce accidents. (Shall I pause here and let that reasoning soak in as well, or just continue since we all can easily understand the dumbfounded thinking?)

Dear Gov;

Please explain to me how giving someone, who doesn’t obey the laws of the United States of America, a driver’s license is going to make them a better driver?  Please explain how said person is going to suddenly become a conscientious member of society with a photo ID that, for all intents and purposes, cannot be verified…since they are probably not running around with other forms of legal identification to back up the driver’s license?

Thank you in advance,

The Legal People of the United States of America/Minnesota Chapter

Just a wild thought…..but, Common Sense would indicate that they shouldn’t have a driver’s license, which is a given privilege to the citizens. And, here is your definition of citizens:

cit·i·zen
ˈsidizən,ˈsidisən/
noun
noun: citizen; plural noun: citizens; noun: cit.
a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized.
I’m just going to close with this:  Because you stand in a yard, it doesn’t make you a resident. Because you travel down the road, it doesn’t make you a car. Because you swim in the water, it doesn’t make you a fish. And, because you are within the borders of a land, it doesn’t make you a legally recognized subject or national of that place.
This is only one example of our missing Common Sense….but, we still have many who view life through the lenses of it! People, we can alter the path, change the direction, and turn the ship around and make this a better world…..all with a little help from our friends, and Common Sense!
Godzilla_facepalm

Love, even in loss.

It has been a very long time since I put my thoughts on this page. Long overdue actually. Part of the issue has been life. Life happened, is happening, and will happen. To stop and express thoughts and feelings during the Life Happenings is a conscience choice that must be acted upon. I, on the other hand, procrastinated until the moment passed and left me holding on to empty bag of unknowns, uncertainties, and unresolved expressions.

So, I take this moment to put aside my laziness and drop a quick note or two onto this fine media….to share, with you, how life has happened since my last posting.

Since leaving my state job, going back to the big corporate life, I have road a roller coaster of events that have altered my life. Most extreme of which was the passing of my Mom. Watching a loving and caring woman succumb to the ravages of cancer…never complaining about the pain and misery she was suffering…has left a sore that I cannot seem to heal.  That spot where you feel the pain, yet don’t have a remedy at hand. At times it festers to a point of creating tears from hurt, and at times it just aches enough to remind you that it is still there, yet I can still manage through the day.

I will confess that there has been directed moments where I have tried to numb the pains with adult-fashionable beverages in excess. But, we both know that is not a remedy for any pain.  If anything, it only leaves the physical body in discord and fills the mind with regret. The sore still remains. Life still happens.

Trying to take my focus off of the sore is also just a temporary fix. Even if I fill my head and heart with the anguish of the world events of murder, mayhem, and vile actions purported on one another, that is only a fleeting burn that dissipates after the news is turned off. Plus, only adds to the disdain I have for people who are filled with evil. Love is smothered and I become numb.

Life still happens. I still walk amongst it, daily having to navigate the ups and downs, turns and curves of my existence. It’s true that you cannot just put your head in the sand and pretend that you are not there. I have tried and it hasn’t resolved anything. The only resolve is facing it all head on. Walking into the storms and taking action on each segment of life as it happens.

As much as it can hurt at times, facing the enemy is more effective in the long run. Life will keep happening, but keeping a firm grasp on how much it can become a sore will most certainly give you the upper hand.  I wasn’t prepared for some of life’s big hits on me and have suffered more than I should have, had I taken a more controlling roll in them when they occurred. So, as with anything….you live and learn!

Not to sound cliché and sappy, but love does conquer all. Filling your heart with love will have a greater impact on your personal resolve to survive the storms of life’s happenings. Thus, when faced with devastation, loss, pain, hurt, and emptiness….you will at least have a warmth that comforts and calms you through it all.

Be strong, my friends, and be in love! Love you, love them, love life…good and bad. But, above all…..LOVE!

 

 

 

Altered States (or… lies your computer tells you)

I have to find some humor in the technological advancements we have today. As much as the science and technology growth has “improved” our lives (still not sure who’s definition we are using there…), there is just as much damage that is occurring from it as well.

Someone shared with me a “glitch” that was found in our technology. No, it isn’t something as large as from the movie “War Games” where the computer is preparing to launch a nuclear device. This was something that could be considered small, yet indicative of changes that could affect future generations. A friend had downloaded the classic piece of literature “War And Peace” onto their Nook e-reader. Now, I will confess right here and now that I am in no way an expert on the world of e-readers. I’m still a fan of holding a real book! But I do like the notion of having several books available into one ‘machine’.

So, anyway, this copy of “War And Peace” was downloaded from the Barnes and Noble site for the grand price of 99 cents! A bargain! Yet the bargain came with a price. It seems that there was some word replacements made within the story. Not by the publisher or anyone else. It was done through the technology! The word “kindle”, as in ‘tending a fire’, is used about 8 times throughout the classic volume of writing. The makers of the Nook are in fierce competition with Amazon’s Kindle. The Nook technology removed the word “kindle” and replaced it with the word “nook”.  That’ll teach them!

So now instead of “kindled” the fire, you “nook’d” the fire! Gotta love it! I have to imagine that if our technology ever becomes self-aware, it won’t try to destroy the human population as it has been presented in science fiction movies. No, they will try to destroy each other thanks to the competition of marketing!

If you can picture the future of humanity, studying the great pieces of literature, with the (un)necessary alterations being accepted as the original text? It’s been done before!  The Bible has seen more alterations  than a wedding dress shop!

So, what’s next? How about Dickens’ classic Great Expectations becoming Great Clips. Or perhaps Stevenson’s Treasure Island getting Casino added at the end of the title.  Maybe Washington Irving’s classic The Sketch Book Of Gregory Crayon will have Gregory removed and replaced with Crayola! Next thing you know, the computers will get politically neutral and change Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to A Holiday Carol! Ugh!

Alright Cannon, let’s not get too carried away! Back on topic! (As if there was one…..).

Point is, there comes a time when we lose the humanity by allowing machines to do the thinking for us. So many examples of that leading to catastrophe have been displayed in movies, television, and books.  Our legacy to the future generations is to ensure that they never lose sight of where we came from.  That is why it is so important that we maintain history factual and unedited.  The slightest alteration in script could mean the difference from what was once considered evil to now being considered good.

History is our story. We have worked hard to preserve it, teach it, and learn from it. There are three things that a computer should never replace: human touch, human emotion, and human history.

Paint Me Some Common Sense!

It has been a very long time since I have been on here to post my words about the lack of common sense in our world today and the craziness that has replaced said common sense.  I apologize to my readers for this large gap in writing. My only defense has been that the overwhelming amount of chaos, frivolity, and just-plain-stupidity that has been rampant throughout the world lately has overloaded my thought process!

Our mission of Thinking-Before-Reacting and Use-Common-Sense has been pushed aside in favor of time travel back to the Land That People Forgot. That place where crazy reigned supreme, people were filled with disrespect for one another, and lack of reasoning was prevalent. You all are aware of my huge plea to “learn from history”! We have a colorful past of mistakes and errors to show us what doesn’t work! Let’s use it! But, sadly, no. It appears to be just the opposite. Instead of learning from the past, let’s just take our whole mentality and re-create that era. Let’s just live daily the things that we fought so hard to change for the better.

A painter starts with small brush strokes, outlines the various parts of the canvas, details in the colors to bring out the images they strive for. But before the brush touches the paint, the finished product is pictured in the mind.  In order to make that picture become reality, the artist must know what the finished product will look like. So, too, we need to have that “big picture” view. See the whole before we can understand the parts.  When we plant our focus on a small portion, make a judgement of the big picture just based on that small portion…well, often our view is incomplete, inaccurate, and inadequate.

What creates such dissension in this world is that the narcissism of so many has narrowed their view to just a portion of reality. Since they are so convinced that the world is all about them, they conclude things based on that narrow viewpoint.  Now multiply that narrow-mindedness to millions and millions, put it on television and internet, and you have successfully destroyed common sense.  Take out rational thinking and you have nullified respect. Eliminate caring and you have the world as it is today.

I don’t want to be the downer, the negative, the bringer of bad news. My intent is not to depress you, dear reader! The intent is to recharge you! The intent is to revitalize you into pushing for changes in this blinded world we live in! We have had so many paintings presented to us from the past…big pictures that show our bad, that from it we can do good.  But we cannot just focus on a small part of those pictures….no! We need to step back, see the painting as a whole, and learn from what it says!

Opening up the narrow and seeing the whole allows us to make rational decisions, use common sense when addressing issues, and, most of all, care! It takes us away from the mistakes of our past and allows us the opportunity to be respectable people.  I haven’t written for some time, partly out of overload, but partly out of confusion.  There are so many decent people in this world, and yet the media fronts the rotten tomatoes.

One of my favorite quotes from the movies is Donald Sutherland’s character in Kelly’s Heroes. He would always tell Gavin MacLeod’s character to “stop with all the negative waves”.

Very applicable, I’d say!  How about some “positive waves”!

 

A Traditional Way, or In The Way…?

“Because that’s the way it has always been done!” That’s the answer for tradition. If you do the same thing time and time again…it’s tradition. The family gatherings during the holiday, the placement of an item ceremoniously, following a well-travelled path…all traditions. There are many wonderful things to be said about tradition. It can be used as a means of preserving family memories. It demonstrates respect for the past. It also teaches and motivates the young to remember. Tradition can build a strong bond of unity!

There can be down-sides to traditions though. Often, doing something just because of tradition makes it robotic and the true meaning to its purpose is lost over time. People will go through the motions “just because” and get stuck in the rut. Traditions can keep you trapped, missing out on something that can be new and exciting. “Because that’s the way it has always been done!”

I did that once. Absolutely refused to purchase compact disks for the longest time because I felt my tradition of records and cassettes were being infringed upon. Don’t tell me I have to change my media! I’ve always listened to my music this way!

With some traditions though, I have to shake my head and wonder why.  One such tradition is using Roman numerals for the year or to denote a quantitative measure of events. Prime example: the Superbowl. This 2012, Superbowl XLVI was played. Not 46, but XLVI. It is important to note that!  But why use Roman numerals? Doesn’t our numbering symbols work? Does a game or event become more exciting if antiquated symbols are used?

If you put in the question “why does the Superbowl use Roman numerals” in Google search, you get about a thousand pages of every type trying to give you an answer. And you know what? None of them do. Well, maybe they do, but I’m not going to scroll through every one to see!  But, the common thread seems to be tradition. Plain and simple. It’s the novelty of doing it because, well…just because.  Tradition. 1966 saw the first game played, billed as Superbowl I, and has continued tradition ever since.  They are not the only ones using Roman numerals though. Check out the very end of the credits on television shows. Copyright MCMVXXIII (just made up a random number). Tradition? Yep….tradition.

Let’s face it…the way of the Roman numbering symbols is a thing of the past, but to strike tradition, we continue to use it in various applications. The same can be said of many traditions. Archaic as some things may seem, we still push for some aspect of yester-yore.  Is it a bad thing? No. Something like Roman numerals will not decimate the rise of technology. But if we held fast to a Roman numeral-only mentality, then hinderance of progression may occur!

Standing in traditions that disallow progress have also proven to be damaging. In many cultures or religions, some traditions have proven harmful to certain genders or races. Women have suffered throughout history under religious or political oppressions. Having a belief other than the status quo could often be cause for punishment or death to people because tradition would not move…it’s the way it has always been and it will not be challenged!  These types of situations still happen in this modern-day and age! Archaic thinking creates a separation.

I’m not going to start in on specifics. That usually just leads to arguments. I’m not here for that.  I just feel that it is important to keep a mind open, evaluate all aspects, and be respectful to other’s. Disclaimer: driving like a selfish idiot during rush hour is NOT considered tradition! Just saying….but I digress!

Anyway, I just find it interesting some of the various traditions that people, communities, cultures, religions, and even nations will hold near and dear to their hearts. Look around your world this week and note the various traditions that people engage in. You will find some odd, like Roman numerals. You will find some touching, like visits to a grave. You may find some that need a change. You might find a situation to create one. Sometimes you have to break tradition to create a new tradition!

No matter the tradition, it is something that is a part of the life around us. I hold out for hope in a planet steeped in traditions that a sprinkling of common sense exists within!  Change can be good for some traditions. I know…I ended up buying a CD player and learned to really enjoy that technology!

Now, what is this MP3 stuff I’m hearing about….?

MP3 Player?

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